Johnny Manziel –Talent & Potential Lost To Addiction

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Is our unsatiated need for entertainment and America’s obsession with the NFL putting unbearable pressure on the people who try to measure up?

Johnny Manziel was voted best player in his college game and awarded a Heisman Trophy as a freshman at Texas A&M in 2012.    As a celebrity in college football, he was both loved and loathed.  The warning signs were there – Manziel was arrested for fighting before his freshman year.  He was kicked out as a counselor at Peyton Manning’s quarterbacks camp because he overslept.  He was suspended for the first half of the season his sophomore year allegedly for receiving money for autographs.

In 2014 he was put in the NFL draft pool, and finally chosen by Cleveland as the 22nd pick.   Donald Trump was among those chiming in. (“Cleveland just made a very wise decision — congrats!” Trump wrote on Twitter after the Browns drafted Manziel.)

ohnny Manziel was cut after his second season with the Cleveland Browns. Credit Frank Victores/Associated Press

Johnny Manziel was cut after his second season with the Cleveland Browns. Credit Frank Victores/Associated Press

But now, it is all gone.  All the fame and fortune now lost, and his name is reduced to jokes about which players were the biggest failures.   Johnny has addiction problems, and a family who has worried for years whether he would survive the expectations that were hanging on him.   He is expected to be indicted on Tuesday for allegedly attacking his ex-girlfriend in January.     The lost potential is heartbreaking.

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